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Posts tagged ‘zipper’

Infertility Awareness Week – Once Upon a Time Bolsters

Fertility yoga is a popular tool among those who suffer from infertility. It’s a way to calm your mind and try to unite your thoughts with your actions while thing you feel least like doing is being calm. By creating a safe space for your body full of support, you can let your mind relax a little bit.

I’ve taken several fertility yoga and restorative yoga classes over the past few years, and a common thread seems to be the “Goddess pose”. I’ve done it with one or two bolsters which you lay back on, letting the bolster support and cradle your body while you let the front of your body release. As someone who is constantly either at a computer or at a sewing machine, this pose feels like pure bliss at the end of the day. ANYWAYS, I was trying to figure out where to get my own bolsters for home practice and I found some 9″x22″ at fabric.com . Then my mind started racing with ideas on how to cover them!

I had some details that I wanted in the cover. I wanted a stiffer fabric, but something soft against the skin, so I instantly thought of a light linen canvas like Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Rising or Heather Ross’s Far Far Away II. I also wanted handles on the ends, a zipper up the side, and a flap with which to cover/hide the zipper… there are few things in this world that are LESS relaxing than a zipper poking into your back… or neck… or face.

So I had a general idea of what I wanted this cover to look like. I chose some Far Far Away II and tried to match up some colors. I ended up with this yellow rose fabric and this green sleeping beauty with an orange zipper.

The zipper is hidden behind a flap that just looks like a seam running the entire bolster... much softer than the metal head of a pointy zipper!

The zipper is hidden behind a flap that just looks like a seam running the entire bolster… much softer than the metal head of a pointy zipper!

The longest zipper I had was about 15″ or 16″ (which I’ve now rectified by ordering an assortment of 20″ & 22″ zippers but they haven’t been delivered yet), so I decided to put it at one end of the cover (not in the center) and have it open towards the center. I used the green as a base with a wide rose strip through the center, perpendicular to the opening.

Once I had a tube shape that sort of fit the pillow (with no pattern there’re a lot of “fittings” and “alterations” involved) I made two “handles” and two “end caps”… two strips and two circles. The first time I put it all together the zipper flap ended up being sewn down while pushed the wrong way rendering it completely useless… I didn’t make that mistake twice!

With a handle at each end, it's really easy to grab and reposition... even if your eyes are closed!

With a handle at each end, it’s really easy to grab and reposition… even if your eyes are closed!

Another problem I had was that the cover was too long and the circles (at 11″) were too big… but as my mom always says about haircuts, it’s easier to try to take more off than to try to put more on after the fact. But once I honed in on the right size I ended up with a beautiful and very comfortable bolster!

I just want to mention now that it’s Infertility Awareness Week this week. You can find out more about the disease of infertility, infertility etiquette, and what you can do to help at RESOLVE, or the Canadian support site IAAC (even though Canadian Infertility Awareness Week isn’t until May!)

christmas ninja part 4: bags to put things in

I started to realize that if I outlined every single thing that I made this xmas, I would be here until Easter, so I’m grouping widely, just let me know if you want me to slow down and show you something in more detail.

Exhibit 1: the tablet case.

Robot print on the outside, circuit board print on the inside, this beauty was intended for my dad’s tablet.  No velcro or clasps to scratch it up, there are magnets sewn into the inner faces.

In my defense, it fit my iPad with loads of room to spare in both dimensions.  Fluffy quilting make it soft padding for crashing into things, like dogs (my parents have 3 enormous siberian huskies).   How was I to know that his tablet is like 3 times thicker and an about 25% longer than an iPad?

V2:

By repositioning the magnet onto a little flap, I extended the reach of this baby by several inches. It can be closed either with the flap on the inside OR the outside of the body.

My cousin invited my family to her place for dinner… she said not to bring anything, but I wanted to bring something nice for her.  Enter flavored Schnapps… and pretty bag to put it in!

and looky inside!

And lastly, a bag all for me!  This is based on that cute little earbuds case… just bigger. Can you believe I got this stuff on super-duper clearance?  So cool.

It’s seriously neon green!

encouraging girls in science and technology

This project is being linked up over at honeybearlane.

As you might have noticed, I’m a Software Engineer. And you might have also noticed, there are not a whole lot of women in software – there aren’t a whole lot of women in any kind of engineering – there aren’t even a whole lot of women in science and technology.

It’s always been a big initiative of mine to encourage women – especially girls who have an interest in science – to consider a career in engineering. I think that many times women can offer a change in perspective to a problem and a change of dynamics to a team. I always encourage my employers to try to find talented women to hire, partly because it can be very lonely (I’m the only full-time female software developer in my entire company!) but also because I find that if a women is in a technical field, chances are that they are very good at what they do otherwise they would have been discouraged a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met my fair share of people of the male-persuasion that told me that a) girls don’t program and b) they don’t want to be beat out by a girl (Seriously? Are you sure we’re really in the 21st century?) but I believed in myself enough and had enough positive female role-models to keep me going over the years.

In trying to give back to the WISE (Women In Science and Engineering) I’ve mentored students, supervised LEGO building events and workshops, I even wrote a proposal to get Imperial Oil to fund a grad student going into grade schools once a week for the entire school year to help with building an entry for the LEGO category of the annual Robot Games in my city – and I’m on the committee that organizes the games every year. I read an article a while back (I wish I could find it!) that said that you shouldn’t be just putting girls into science and technology (just hiring them for the sake of hiring a girl) because that is actually counter-productive, but you should make special efforts to encourage girls that are good in science and technology to stay.

So with that in mind, take a look at my latest project!

We had two female interns at our company this year and I really enjoyed having a little more estrogen in the office for 16 months. Just so they don’t forget about us when they’re back at school for their final year, I made these super-soft, super-squishy pillows for them! “CDL” is the name of our company and our software is used in some military applications, so I’ve appliqued on a very feminine pink minky camo with a flowery brown minky fabric. Do you recognize that blanket? Yes, it’s the beast that broke Pfelicia! BTW, I performed surgery on Pfelicia, more on that later…

There is a pink zipper set into the bottom of each pillow – they’re actually just pillow covers! As usual I got my zippers from Zip-it! for really really cheap in an assorted pack, so when I need one, I just pull them all out and find one that matches!

The pillow inside is completely removable so you can wash the cover. The inner pillow is made from muslin (super fast and easy!!!) and stuffed with fiberfill.

This was my first try using a zig-zag stitch to cover the edges of an applique, and I think it worked especially well here because of the texture of the two fabrics. What do you think?

Are you a female in the fields of science or engineering?
Have you ever been discriminated against because of your gender?
How do you support young people interested in your field of work or study?

vacation sewing!

One of the coolest things about blogging and reading other people’s blogs is the moment you realize that there are a lot of people out there that are just as crazy as you are. And today, the crazy I’m referring to insatiable need to complete last minute sewing for a trip or event, sometimes as close as minutes before leaving the house. Last year I made a soft case for my camera and all of my camera parts while we were waiting for the taxi to arrive. This year my vacation sewing included:

  • a hat (see the “welding hat” post)
  • a wrap skirt
  • two zippered cases for cosmetics and hair clips
  • a neck pillow for the plane

So let’s start at the top… the hat.  You’ve already seen it, but here are some “action shots”!  We went to an area of Bavaro Beach near Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for 7 days.

 

me, my hubby, a coconut, and my hat at the beach near Punta Cana

It was THE BEST! It blocked all sun, kept me cool, and I even wore in the ocean and while snorkeling to keep the sun off of my white, white head. AND, it’s really like 2 hats because it’s fully reversible, which is da bomb when you’re traveling! (I couldn’t find any pics of me wearing it the other way, but I did!)

Next, a wrap skirt. This one was the weekend before I left. My sewing buddy watched in amazement while I just started hacking and sewing. It was roughly something like this:

*I’ll put a diagram in here when I get home today*

I have one picture of it waiting to be packed, but it kinda sucks, so here are some “action shots”!

me, my hubby, and my FIL waiting to be picked up by a bus out front of the hotel

on the tour

So overall, the skirt was a smashing success! It was just long enough, just wide enough, the ties were just long enough… but if I was to do it again I would make some loops to string the tie back through… I might still add them to this skirt. The material was perfect, it’s by Trans Pacific Textiles, carried at Hawthorne Threads, HERE!

Next, as I was throwing everything down the stairs in a pile to shove in my suitcase, I notices that I needed something to contain all of the little things… hair elastics, barrettes, pills, and everything else that a girl totes around with her on vacation. I made 2 of them, matching, one half the size of the other, using a Kokka light canvas, lined with a muslin, and purple zippers from Zipit, my favorite Etsy zipper store!

Sorry, pouches don’t really lend themselves to “action”!

And lastly, but not least… ly? A neck pillow. This one I totally winged at 8pm the night before we were to get up at 2am to go to the airport. I was cleaning up my sewing stuff and I saw the minky cuddle fabric stacked up on my table and it just came to me. I looked through all of my books for a pattern, but the closest I could find was a baby feeding pillow which was way to big. So I folded the end of the fabric into 4 (to make 2 pieces that were each symmetrical) and just started cutting. I sewed the right sides together and hand sewed the gap closed after stuffing. The result was the snuggliest and softest pillow EVER (not to mention cutest!), and everyone around me on the plane was jealous.

the snuggliest, softest, cutest travel pillow EVAR!

And when I got *REALLY SICK* on my vacation and spent an entire day just laying on the deck of my room trying not to die, it was a huge comfort. I didn’t have any of my sicky-pyjamas or my blankets to cuddle up under, but I did have a super-soft hug of a pillow!

a super-soft hug of a travel pillow

and even more exciting is the fact that I just ordered a couple of days ago the matching silky satin for pyjama pants 😀

So anyways, that’s the story of my vacation sewing. See ya later!

dum dee dum dum…

it’s been pretty uggh around here. it’s the last day of summer and we’ve gotten our second overnight snowfall this month… and it’s still technically summer!!!

i’ve been working really hard on a side project developing a Flash application for a multitouch surface for ACH and i’ve hardly had any time at all to sew. but that didn’t stop me from whipping up these beauties for my brother’s bday next week!

my brother is turning 25 this year, and i’m his big sis by 3-1/2 years, so he was really the last of our kind – the 80’s children that had a great love for tetris, atari, and all things involving 8-bit music. this tetris print was perfect, and orange is his favorite color too…

he’s also a rockstar AND his pants are always falling down, so this really is the perfect gift for him. 😀 all hail the simple-to-make-in-an-hour-d-ring-belt! so i think that’s all i’ve got. did i tell you i found some castle peeps for $2.50 per half-yard at Fabritopia? oh baby, oh baby, oh BABY! i got 2 yards of the flag print in each colorway. ok, now i’m done.

failure, failure, failure… and a little bit of success!

my friend recently adopted a little itsy bitsy chiuaua from mexico or LA or somewhere, named “Rosie”. dog named rosie + rose fabric = adorable, so this is what happened.

it’s the Heather Ross phenomenon known as “Far Far Away II”. i just love the weight of this fabric (my sewing machine does NOT, i should have just hand stitched the biggest parts). so what is it? well, it’s a leash. but the leash has an extra d-ring to hook other things on that you need on walks. like keys. and poop bag holders. like this one. 😀

so when I started making all of this, i decided to write a tutorial -this was going to be my break-out piece and it was going to be a masterpiece! so i started sewing and taking pictures and sewing and taking pictures and sewing and taking pictures, until i got to here:

and i didn’t even notice until i tried to shove it into the machine that it wasn’t going to work. i’d essentially sewn myself into a corner. awesome. i actually ripped the entire thing out and started again. here:

and while i’d like to say that the second line of stitching on each side accents the zipper beautifully, in truth it’s because my first line missed the lining entirely, and as i was gleefully waving it around in front of my husband who really didn’t care, i flung a piece of the lining at him. :S

i finished stitching it up and then did the leash part and the handle part, going out 2 more times to get d-rings and clips and such, and wasn’t really happy with what i found in the end either. *sigh* who would think you’d want to attach those clips to something less than an inch and a half wide anyways… crazy people :S

so after all of that, i realized that i had a massage scheduled for today. my massage therapist had raved about the tetris fabric that i had told her that i’d ordered from spoonflower… and i don’t tip her (it’s $89.25 per visit! i don’t think insurance will cover a tip, and not even all of that is covered under my primary plan!) so i wanted to make her something out of the tetris fabric when it arrived… it actually didn’t take very long at all.

both projects i used my zipit zippers! i bought the samplers of a whole bunch of different sizes, it’s nice because i can put it up to the project and a) get out one that’s a little bigger or a little smaller and b) match colors beautifully!

weddings, weddings, weddings!

Please excuse the mess, I’m trying out my WordPress app for the first time and it’s not exactly what you would call… Easy to use! But I’m giving it a shot.

I have 3 weddings to go to over the labour day long weekend, and there are projects in the works for all of them. First, I agreed to make a garment bag for my cousin for her dress that she needs to transport from Vancouver to Calgary for the wedding. I found the cutest zipper!

pretty zipper…

Next, I’ve fashioned a cape of sorts for my friend’s not-a-stagette stagette (she insists that it’s not, but it is…). I used Alexander Henry’s pin up guy fabric with the wonderfully half naked cowboys.

yeeeehaw…

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